School News

School Reformer Honored
Barbara Olin Taylor (left) celebrates her award with Dean Penelope Peterson.

Photo by Mary Hanlon.

Barbara Olin Taylor (MBA78, PhD84), a leader in public school reform, has spent her career applying the practices of effective business management to the learning sciences and bridging gaps between educational practitioners and researchers.

Combining her Northwestern studies with two decades of volunteer work in Connecticut politics, education, day care and welfare reform, Taylor and other educational researchers created the Effective Schools Process, a comprehensive approach to school reform.

With the Effective School Process as a model, Taylor co-founded the National Center for Effective Schools in Research and Development in 1986 and served as its executive director from 1988 to 1990.

For the past 20 years, Taylor has been a private consultant in education reform, serving the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Center for Effective Schools Research at Michigan State University.

Author of three books on public school reform, Taylor has testified before Congress, and she has been recognized by the University of New Haven with its President's Award and an honorary doctorate of humane letters.

Michael M. Ravitch, who stepped down as director of the office of medical education at the Feinberg School of Medicine six years ago, died Feb. 27 in his Evanston home.

Mr. Ravitch, 61, joined the staff of the Feinberg School and the School of Education and Social Policy in 1984. He previously worked in medical education at the University of Rochester and Michigan State University.

At Feinberg, he helped implement the school's shift from teaching through lectures to problem-based learning where students solve simulated problems within small groups.

After suffering a stroke in 1997, Mr. Ravitch took physical therapy and hired a music therapist. He also volunteered his time to talk with stroke patients at Evanston Hospital, register voters with the local League of Women Voters and participate in a book club.

Survivors include his wife, Myrnice; two daughters, Lara and Katie; and two sisters, Nancy Schwentker and Binnie Ravitch. A memorial service was held. May 15 at the Unitarian Church of Evanston.

Convocation Speaker, Scott Turow

An attorney and author of best selling books such as Presumed Innocent and Reversible Errors, Scott Turow spoke at the SESP Convocation Saturday, June 19 at 9 a.m. in Cahn Auditorium.